Second-year civil engineering student Jason Duic speaks with alumni David Strelchuk, Philip Waier, and Henry Regts.Second-year civil engineering student Jason Duic describes the use of fibre reinforced polymer composites to strengthen concrete to alumni David Strelchuk, Philip Waier, and Henry Regts during a tour of the structures lab, Wednesday in the Centre for Engineering Innovation.

Civil engineering grads give back in celebration of 50th anniversary

Henry Regts (BASc 1967) says he owes a lot to the University of Windsor.

Admitted as a mature student to the civil engineering program, Regts said the education he received prepared him for a successful career in the profession. He helped to bring together several fellow graduates of the Class of 1967 Wednesday for a tour of the Centre for Engineering Innovation.

“It’s Canada’s 150th year and our 50th year,” he said. “We’ve only had one reunion in that time and to me it was a big deal graduating in 1967. You’ve got to celebrate these things.”

The group was part of the inaugural class entering the University in 1963.

“We weren’t as well-known as some of the bigger schools, but the engineering education I got was second to none,” said Regts. “It’s all in how you apply yourself to your studies.”

He married and started a family while a student, and his wife was expecting their second child when he graduated. He recalled support he received from donors as being critical to completing his degree, and said that has motivated him to invest in future generations of students — members of the Class of 1967 have endowed a scholarship fund to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

Provost Douglas Kneale told donors at a reunion breakfast Wednesday that their support matters.

“Your gift will open doors and open minds for years to come,” Dr. Kneale said.

Norm Becker (BASc 1967, PhD 1970), founder of the Windsor-based Becker Engineering Group, said the gesture expresses gratitude to their alma mater.

“We have accomplished so much more than we ever expected in our 50 years of professional practice,” he said. “Our successes reflect on the University — we’re the products.”

Besides Wednesday’s welcoming breakfast and tour of labs and facilities, the reunion includes a panel discussion by the alumni on Thursday, sharing their experiences and expertise with professor Jacqueline Stagner’s class “Engineering and Society.”